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a_little_taller

Notations on Records about Callings

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I don't post here much, but I do read a lot of interesting topics and thoughts on this board. Thank you for the lively discussions. They help me in my continual search for truth.

I'm wondering if anyone can answer this question for me. It may seem odd, but here goes. I've served in many callings in the church including as a bishop and a few stake callings. I'm aware that notations are made on records due to church discipline, etc. so a new bishop will be aware of a member's standing. My question is: Is there a similar way for stake presidents to note how a bishop, for example, performed in their calling for future reference? Maybe someone who has served as a stake president would know. I've served as a stake clerk and was not aware of a way to do this, but the SP had more access to things than I did as a clerk. Or alternatively, do SPs note a reason for release when they submit a name to be called as a new bishop?

Also, if there was such a notation system, would it be appropriate to ask if you could see what has been noted about your church service?

Thanks in advance for any responses. 

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The only two notations I am aware of translate basically to "no youth/primary callings" and "this individual has been re-baptized but has not had priesthood/temple blessings restored."  

There may be more (such as a "no finance access") but the pattern I've seen is that unless it causes actionable or constrains actions by the bishop or stake presidency there won't be a formal notation. Simply being bad at your calling won't elicit a notation, unless it involves money. And when someone with a notation enters the ward the bishop gets direct contact from SLC (by letter) stating what the notation means calling and activity wise (the one for those returning from an ex-communication is not an obvious one at first). 

If you had a notation on your record you would not be surprised by it's presence, they are not easy to acquire.

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1 hour ago, The Nehor said:

But no, they will not let you look at those records. If you were just lousy at a calling at some point no, there is no way they will know unless they know someone in your old ward or something like that.

IIRC from my time as ward clerk and bishop, when a member moves out of the ward and has issues, a note asking the new bishop to contact the old bishop can be attached. Also. I believe there is a redacted membership record for the member to view on request. There is no record kept of callings or performance in callings.

Edited by Bernard Gui
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There is the functionality in the Church Directory of Leaders and Organisations (CDOL) to see who the previous Bishop, Counsellors, Exec Sec of organisations were, but not what the previous callings of a member were.

1 hour ago, revelstoked said:

If you had a notation on your record you would not be surprised by it's presence, they are not easy to acquire.

Regarding Annotations like revelstoked mentioned they are not easy to acquire. The Handbook gives the following reasons for as to why an annotation can be added. If the individual was involved in incest, sexual offense against or serious physical abuse of a child, plural marriage, an elective transsexual operation, repeated homosexual activities (by adults), predatory conduct, or embezzlement of Church funds or property. In addition, the stake president and bishop may jointly recommend that a person’s membership record be annotated for other conduct that threatens the well-being of other persons or of the Church.

 

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Thanks for the responses. You all have the same understanding I have on record notations. I was just curious if there was something beyond what I was aware of.

A little more about why I asked the questions. I served as a bishop some time ago. It was a great experience and I learned a lot. And I feel I did a good job of it. I served 4 years and 6 months. But I had a disagreement with the stake presidency over Friends of Scouting (SME) collection that may have resulted in my being released earlier than a full 5 years which was pretty standard at the time. The first couple of years, we were given a quota which we dutifully met even though it was not easy (we had many poor members who had difficulty paying it).

The third year we received a letter from church headquarters with instructions on how SME collection was to be conducted. The instructions were that you visited the home of every member of the ward to give them an opportunity to contribute. No quotas should be assessed and whatever was collected was sufficient. Our bishopric had a brief celebration over the good news. However, come SME time, the second counselor in the stake presidency met with us and gave us our assessment for the year. I quickly pulled out the letter that specifically stated no quotas, but he said they were choosing to continue the way it had always been done. In my next PPI, I brought it up with the stake president and asked why we were given a quota when the church gave very specific instructions about no quotas. He didn't really know about the letter and kind of passed the buck to the counselor. I had to stave off a small mutiny in the bishopric, and we decided to just do it as we had done before.

The fourth year we received another letter that more emphatically stated NO QUOTAS. But again we were given a quota for our ward to meet. I had another discussion with the counselor in the stake presidency but he was undeterred. So I called church headquarters and spoke to the person in charge scouting and young mens. I explained our dilemma and he said the correct policy is in the letter and if we would be doing it correctly if we followed the policy. He even said to refer the counselor to his office if he persisted with the quota. Well, we decided to follow the instructions in the letter. We met with every family in the ward, gave them the opportunity to contribute, and turned in what we collected which was maybe $300 less than the quota. When the counselor came to find out why we were short, I referred him again to the letter, the policy, and the brother at church headquarters. A couple of months later I was released. 

So I've always wondered if I was released early because of this incident and whether or not the reason for my release was recorded somewhere. I'd hate to be disqualified from other callings due to being labelled a bad soldier or something. I know... paranoia will destroy ya. I can honestly say I completely supported the stake presidency and worked well with them except for this particular issue. But I gave it a lot of thought and prayer at the time and decided to follow church policy rather than the wishes of my local leader. I suspect I was seen as a boat rocker by them, but it's very awkward to be put in a position of choosing between the two. 

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No, there is virtually no way that would be recorded in any way.

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I was told the Church doesn't keep a record of callings for each member.

Made my own.

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This information wouldn't be in a membership record annotation, but I am certain that things like this are kept internally for when the First Presidency considers recommendations for bishops. As was mentioned, you can find on CDOL information about all Church assignments (I've served twice as a bishop, and one can look that up if one has access to CDOL). 

It is very possible that you were released a little early due to philosophical differences with FOS. My grandpa was released as a bishop when his stake president was angry because Elder Perry sided with my grandpa over him in a disagreement. The FP approved the release, even though one could say that it was unjust. I appreciate that they respected the stake president's prerogative and authority, even though I believe he was in the wrong. And, my grandpa "won" in the dispute.

I don't think any negative comment about your FOS dispute would impact another call as bishop, but I'm sure that if a comment was made, it is somewhere for them to consider. But nowhere on membership records. 

I also believe (but have no evidence, of course) that the FP might run a credit check on candidates for bishop and stake president. 

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The Friends of Scouting was a difficult program to run and for members to support. Like pulling teeth.  I am assuming it will end in 2020 when the church no longer supports scout troops?

 

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Just now, JAHS said:

The Friends of Scouting was a difficult program to run and for members to support. Like pulling teeth.  I am assuming it will end in 2020 when the church no longer supports scout troops?

 

We had a hallelujah moment over that in our Bishopric meeting. Everyone hates these drives. We already ask for so much and most of those living in our ward are not wealthy.

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7 minutes ago, JAHS said:

The Friends of Scouting was a difficult program to run and for members to support. Like pulling teeth.  I am assuming it will end in 2020 when the church no longer supports scout troops?

All I ever did in eight years was to announce the drive, put it in the bulletin, and allow members to donate (or not) to a member of the bishopric. My first stake presidency wanted us to be more Jerry Lewis Telethon about it, but I told them, "Our drive is over. If you want to call the ward list and shake them down, be my guest."

Our second stake presidency didn't pressure us at all. We literally announced it and put it in the bulletin for one week. No donations. 

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41 minutes ago, a_little_taller said:

Thanks for the responses. You all have the same understanding I have on record notations. I was just curious if there was something beyond what I was aware of.

A little more about why I asked the questions. I served as a bishop some time ago. It was a great experience and I learned a lot. And I feel I did a good job of it. I served 4 years and 6 months. But I had a disagreement with the stake presidency over Friends of Scouting (SME) collection that may have resulted in my being released earlier than a full 5 years which was pretty standard at the time. The first couple of years, we were given a quota which we dutifully met even though it was not easy (we had many poor members who had difficulty paying it).

The third year we received a letter from church headquarters with instructions on how SME collection was to be conducted. The instructions were that you visited the home of every member of the ward to give them an opportunity to contribute. No quotas should be assessed and whatever was collected was sufficient. Our bishopric had a brief celebration over the good news. However, come SME time, the second counselor in the stake presidency met with us and gave us our assessment for the year. I quickly pulled out the letter that specifically stated no quotas, but he said they were choosing to continue the way it had always been done. In my next PPI, I brought it up with the stake president and asked why we were given a quota when the church gave very specific instructions about no quotas. He didn't really know about the letter and kind of passed the buck to the counselor. I had to stave off a small mutiny in the bishopric, and we decided to just do it as we had done before.

The fourth year we received another letter that more emphatically stated NO QUOTAS. But again we were given a quota for our ward to meet. I had another discussion with the counselor in the stake presidency but he was undeterred. So I called church headquarters and spoke to the person in charge scouting and young mens. I explained our dilemma and he said the correct policy is in the letter and if we would be doing it correctly if we followed the policy. He even said to refer the counselor to his office if he persisted with the quota. Well, we decided to follow the instructions in the letter. We met with every family in the ward, gave them the opportunity to contribute, and turned in what we collected which was maybe $300 less than the quota. When the counselor came to find out why we were short, I referred him again to the letter, the policy, and the brother at church headquarters. A couple of months later I was released. 

So I've always wondered if I was released early because of this incident and whether or not the reason for my release was recorded somewhere. I'd hate to be disqualified from other callings due to being labelled a bad soldier or something. I know... paranoia will destroy ya. I can honestly say I completely supported the stake presidency and worked well with them except for this particular issue. But I gave it a lot of thought and prayer at the time and decided to follow church policy rather than the wishes of my local leader. I suspect I was seen as a boat rocker by them, but it's very awkward to be put in a position of choosing between the two. 

With you, I and many, many others are rejoicing at the coming death knell of BSA and our church.

Some people, like your prior Stake 2nd Counsellor, have a very difficult time when things they've done for decades are changed, even when that change comes via revelation to living Prophets.  As Tevye said, "Tradition!" 

 

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5 minutes ago, nuclearfuels said:

With you, I and many, many others are rejoicing at the coming death knell of BSA and our church.

Some people, like your prior Stake 2nd Counsellor, have a very difficult time when things they've done for decades are changed, even when that change comes via revelation to living Prophets.  As Tevye said, "Tradition!" 

 

I really could never get out of him why he chose to ignore the instructions from church headquarters. I suspect he had some external relationship with BSA and it was a feather in his cap to meet quotas. Or he was told that the new policy would be devastating to the BSA operating budget. Don't know. 

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1 minute ago, a_little_taller said:

I really could never get out of him why he chose to ignore the instructions from church headquarters. I suspect he had some external relationship with BSA and it was a feather in his cap to meet quotas. Or he was told that the new policy would be devastating to the BSA operating budget. Don't know. 

It could also just have been a simple adherence to “this is the way we have always done it”. Most people resist change, even positive change.

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27 minutes ago, rongo said:

All I ever did in eight years was to announce the drive, put it in the bulletin, and allow members to donate (or not) to a member of the bishopric. My first stake presidency wanted us to be more Jerry Lewis Telethon about it, but I told them, "Our drive is over. If you want to call the ward list and shake them down, be my guest."

Our second stake presidency didn't pressure us at all. We literally announced it and put it in the bulletin for one week. No donations. 

Yeah, we had people who wanted to do a Fifth Sunday presentation on it. Our response is that the Sabbath is for spiritual edification and building the Kingdom of God and we did not see how fundraising for a third party organization fit into either.

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35 minutes ago, rongo said:

It is very possible that you were released a little early due to philosophical differences with FOS.

The difference wasn't really philosophically with FOS, even though it was something I dreaded each year. Had the church not sent new instructions 2 years running, I would have struggled to meet the quota as asked and not said a word to the stake presidency. The difference was with the question "Do I follow the instructions of my immediate rank leaders or those from church headquarters?" Since no explanation of why I shouldn't follow the church's instructions was given, I followed the church's instructions. Not to mention it made my life a little easier. :)

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35 minutes ago, rongo said:

All I ever did in eight years was to announce the drive, put it in the bulletin, and allow members to donate (or not) to a member of the bishopric. My first stake presidency wanted us to be more Jerry Lewis Telethon about it, but I told them, "Our drive is over. If you want to call the ward list and shake them down, be my guest."

Our second stake presidency didn't pressure us at all. We literally announced it and put it in the bulletin for one week. No donations. 

Nice. Before being called as a bishop, I was told our ward never met the quota. So we tried a different tactic. I wrote a letter that we sent to all families with boys in scouting and asked for them to pay a certain amount ($30 maybe). If they had multiple boys, pay for one and we'd solicit funds from others to cover them. We collected most of the quota that way and then hit up a few other people with larger disposable incomes to make up the balance. I was often tempted to just write a check to cover the rest.

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1 hour ago, rongo said:

I also believe (but have no evidence, of course) that the FP might run a credit check on candidates for bishop and stake president. 

Would this be possible to do without the consent of the candidate?

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1 hour ago, MiserereNobis said:

Would this be possible to do without the consent of the candidate?

Credit checks can be done without permission for some reasons but not normally for this. It would require a SS # or a least a name and address. I have never heard of this being done. 

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Just now, JAHS said:

Credit checks can be done without permission for some reasons but not normally for this. It would require a SS # or a least a name and address. I have never heard of this being done. 

I can see the Brethren not wanting to inadvertently call a bishop or stake president with crushing debt or a history of reneging on financial obligations. Ditto for other skeletons in the closet (criminal, public, etc.). One of the interview questions when called is along the lines of "Is there any reason why your public reputation would be a hindrance or embarrass the Church (paraphrase by memory)? 

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20 hours ago, a_little_taller said:

I don't post here much, but I do read a lot of interesting topics and thoughts on this board. Thank you for the lively discussions. They help me in my continual search for truth.

I'm wondering if anyone can answer this question for me. It may seem odd, but here goes. I've served in many callings in the church including as a bishop and a few stake callings. I'm aware that notations are made on records due to church discipline, etc. so a new bishop will be aware of a member's standing.

Yes.

20 hours ago, a_little_taller said:

My question is: Is there a similar way for stake presidents to note how a bishop, for example, performed in their calling for future reference?

Absent some sort of finding of misconduct, I don't think so.

20 hours ago, a_little_taller said:

Maybe someone who has served as a stake president would know. I've served as a stake clerk and was not aware of a way to do this, but the SP had more access to things than I did as a clerk. Or alternatively, do SPs note a reason for release when they submit a name to be called as a new bishop?

Also, if there was such a notation system, would it be appropriate to ask if you could see what has been noted about your church service?

Thanks in advance for any responses. 

I don't think there is any such feature in the Church's system of annotating church records.

Thanks,

-Smac

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I have wondered that myself.

i was moved to another ward because my bishopric had done a witch hunt on me.

and the stake president had to step in.

i was found innocent and the bishopric was released.

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10 minutes ago, Doctrine 612 said:

I have wondered that myself.

i was moved to another ward because my bishopric had done a witch hunt on me.

and the stake president had to step in.

i was found innocent and the bishopric was released.

So why were you practicing witchcraft?

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